Oh my Budda! – and rice popping

Busy day Dad!

So we started the day by travelling to My Tho to visit the Vinh Trang Pagoda. It was really cool, there was a 200 tonne cement Budda, which was just huge! The phrase of the trip has become ‘oh my budda’. After the pagoda, we travelled across the river to Unicorn Island. Sadly no unicorns, but we were greeted by bees! We were at a bee farm where we were invited to dip our fingers into live honey comb with bees all around it. We were then asked if we would like to hold the wooden frame supporting the honeycomb, and the hundreds of bees buzzing around it. Bees were landing on my hands, but we were told to remain still and calm and there would be no problems. After some local fruit testing and listening to some traditional local music  (not sure you would have been a huge fan of that part) the group went on a canoe ride along a canal which was covered in palm trees and water coconut plants. The canoe dropped us off at a coconut candy factory. They showed us how they turn the coconut milk into a caramel and add flavourings. It was really tasty! 

Back on the boat for lunch and a few hours of relaxing while we sailed to our next destination. I used this time to work on the rubiks cube you messed up for me. The one with the edge cog rotations? Well I did it! I shouted and threw the cube down making the people around me jump – whoops. Wish I could really rub it in your face! 

After lunch we visited a floating market, which was a little disappointing as there were not many boats. I think we may have been too late in the day. 

After the market we went to visit a rice popping factory. We started by learning about making rice wine. They then offered us a taste. It was awful. It tasted somewhere between white spirit and diesel; with about 40%proof. I will be sticking to rum.

Walking through we were greeted by a jar full of rice wine with a snake inside, well many snakes all curled around the inside edge of the bottle. The rice wine had snake venom in. I passed, I could smell it from three meters away and it smelt worse then the one before. 

Now since I signed up for this trip, all I have had in my head is a rice krispies style factory. Mum laughed at me. Well I was right! They take grains of rice and put them in a hot pan, like a giant 4ft wok with sand from the Mekong. The rice then pops, just like pop corn! Sure enough when they pop they look just like rice krispies. They then added a syrup, combined the popped rice, and rolled it out onto a table. They made rice krispies squares! They then did the same with tapioca. 

As we were leaving; out of the corner of my eye I spotted a giant snake in a cage. We are unsure what this snake is for, but it seemed to big to fit in any of their jars!

Treated myself to a cocktail tonight too. The bar tender made too much so I ended up with one and a half. A side car as he called it. Dinner was spent talking to a gentleman who served as an American soldier in the war. You would have loved talking to him. First hand account of what it was really like. He was situated in the north. 

Well we have just been informed we will be leaving at 6am tomorrow. Early night once again. Apparently no one has heard of a night cap either. I think I had better teach them. 

Until tomorrow Dad x

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